Natural Remedies for Elderly Dogs, How to Keep Your Aging Dog Nimble and in Good Condition




By using natural remedies for elderly dogs, we show how much we adore our pets and  will do everything we can to make them happy and healthy. As they age, we are challenged to find the best solutions for geriatric issues. Some experts say that a dog’s senior years begin at the young age of seven. That’s only 49 in human years (a scary implication for us).

As the health conscious among us increasingly seek holistic and alternative treatments for our own medical issues, we begin to question mainstream methods and pursue natural and organic remedies. We also want to spare our fur babies the toxins associated with medicines like flea preventative treatments, kibble made with cheap and artificial ingredients, and other suspect pet products.

There’s an arsenal of effective and completely natural oils, vitamins, and other treatments that help our pets without harsh chemicals or side effects. Of course, it is wise to consult a holistic/integrative veterinarian when choosing alternative medical care for your dog.

 

cedar chips and fleas in sleeping dog

Keep your dog healthy with natural remedies for elderly dogs

Nutrition

It seems like a new organic, raw, and/or freeze-dried dog food debuts each month, focusing on natural remedies for elderly dogs. People want their aging fur babies to eat healthy food for a lifetime of good health. These foods do not contain artificial colors, preservatives, or flavors in their recipes. This new breed of pup super food meals are homemade, lower calorie, and often full of nutritious vegetables. If you avoid genetically modified organisms and unnatural ingredients in your food, you don’t want Fido ingesting that poison. Despite the existence of a multibillion-dollar commercial pet food industry some healthy human food is also nutritious for canines.

Asparagus, blueberries, watermelons, sweet potatoes, green beans, spinach, apples, pumpkin, cantaloupe, and Brussels sprouts are all great for your aging dog.  With the holidays soon upon us, it is vital to watch what your elderly dog eats. Dangerous human foods that must be kept away from dogs are chocolate, caffeine, coffee, citrus, grapes, raisons, milk, dairy, nuts, onions, garlic, chives, raw or undercooked meat, bones, eggs, salt and salty snack foods, yeast dough, and Xylitol.

Vitamins And Supplements

Many pet parents give their canines daily vitamins. Antioxidants protect from free radicals. Vitamins A, C, E, and selenium are in herbs and vegetables as well as available in daily doggy vitamins. Omega 3 is a “good” fat that assists in many bodily functions including blood clotting, maintaining a normal heartbeat, preventing/reducing inflammation, decreasing blood pressure, improving blood vessel function, reducing cholesterol levels, lowering triglycerides, keeping body tissues healthy, and improving our sight and brains. Sources of Omega 3 are fish, shellfish, algae, flax seed, walnuts, fish oil, and krill oil.

Exercise

Like people, dogs need to work out whether young or old. Twenty minutes of walking or energetic playing each day keeps joints healthy and functioning optimally.

Avoid Excess Vaccinations, Steroids, and Antibiotics

Animals are healthier without vaccination, steroid, and antibiotic overload. Some experts say that vaccinations, like rabies, are legally required more often that physically necessary.

The most common geriatric health issues

Arthritis

Arthritis, inflammation and stiffness of joints, is a common health problem in aging dogs. Many natural supplements help maintain healthy tendons, ligaments, joints, cartilage, and relieve arthritis.

Glucosamine, chondroitin, sulfate, Omega 3, and vitamin C provide relief. Natural anti-inflammatory herbs include Willow Bark, Meadowsweet, St. John’s Wort, and more. Other natural anti-inflammatories are Cayenne, Wild Yam, Devil’s Claw, and Yucca. Super green food like spirulina (an algae available in pill and powder form) and astaxanthin (found in vegetables and fish and also available in supplement form) are effective in arthritis treatment.

Physical treatments like massages, aqua therapy, chiropractic adjustments, stretching, and acupuncture are other ways with natural remedies for elderly dogs to ease arthritis.

Cataracts

The natural treatment for cataracts is an eye drop called Eyebright. It can be dropped into the eyes several times a week or taken orally. Diabetic cataracts cause blindness. Maintaining a healthy body weight is essential to avoid developing Diabetes. Toxicity also causes cataracts. That’s another reason why extra vaccinations, overly prescribed drugs, heart worm medicine, and chemical flea and tick preventatives are dangerous for your dog.

Bilberries have flavonoids and are full of antioxidants. They come in capsule form. They are very effective when taken in addition to Vitamin E. The combination protects eye tissue and stops lens clouding.

Cognitive dysfunction

A healthy body helps maintain a healthy mind, using natural remedies for elderly dogs. Nutritious food and exercise are essential to an aging dog’s cognitive function. Gingko Biloba is a great supplement for brain health. It’s a good idea to check with a holistic vet to ensure commercial supplement products don’t have dangerous side effects.

S- adenosylmethionine (SAM) supplements have had great success improved mental impairment. A holistic vet can help you determine the correct dose. Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) improve brain energy metabolism and reduce the amyloid protein buildup that causes brain lesions in elderly dogs. Coconut oil mixed into food helps maintain mental health. Resveratrol protects against free radical damage and beta-amyloid deposits. Phosphatidylserine is a supplement that can prevent age-related cognitive deficits.

Besides the above, socializing your dog with people and other dogs as well as playing with stimulating toys will help keep her lucid.

Constipation

Constipation is a result of less activity and a lack of muscle tone in the GI tract. If your dog has a healthy diet and plenty of water s/he may not suffer from constipation in older years. A moist and balanced diet keeps the bowels moving. Digestive enzymes and probiotics are effective tools in the fight against constipation. Exercise helps tremendously. Doctors who prefer natural remedies recommend Psyllium husk powder and ground, dark green leafy veggies. Coconut fiber is also efficient in ending constipation. Another natural constipation reliever is canned 100% pumpkin.

Dental And Gum Issues

Ninety percent or more of old dogs suffer from calculus (hardened plaque) and gum disease. Bad breath means Spot has a dental issue. A healthy diet, preferably a raw diet, provides good dental health. Raw meat dislodges food particles from your pet’s teeth. Commercial dental bones also clean the teeth well because they work similarly to raw bones. Also, you should brush your pooch’s teeth everyday to ensure healthy teeth. Have the vet check your elderly dog’s mouth during regular exams. If necessary, your dog can have a professional cleaning.

Deteriorating Senses

Your fur baby’s hearing, sight, smell, and sense of direction may not be as sharp as she ages. Gingko comes to the rescue again. It increases blood flow to the brain and may be helpful for increasing sense performance. Herbs like Ginger, Cayenne, and Ginseng may give your pup more energy.

 

picture of natural remedies for elderly dogs

Injured and Aging Limbs

Dog prosthetics is a somewhat new field. Injuries, cancer, and geriatric-related limb problems can be remedied with prosthetics or surgery in addition to prosthetics. Prosthetics are often less expensive than surgery. They are not invasive. Moreover, if a dog needs an amputation it’s risky to leave him with just three legs because tissue breakdowns or degenerative joint problems can develop. Prosthetics and braces reduce pain and lameness, provide support and comfort, and—most importantly–return your pet’s quality of life through restored mobility.

Kidney, Heart, Liver, and Skin Conditions

Aging dogs are susceptible to kidney, heart, and liver problems, as well as skin conditions. Visit your vet for a diagnosis if something seems wrong. You can administer nutritional supplements, acupuncture, or use homeopathy to prevent or treat these conditions. Herbal remedies help support the health of any of the body’s organ systems.

Losing Interest In Social Activities

If you find your dog is not as friendly as before try Flower Essence (Bach) remedies. Clematis will increase alertness if your pup seems to be less attentive. Mustard is a natural anti-depressant.

Thyroid

Hypothyroidism is a common issue in older dogs. Many holistic vets believe that over vaccination is the cause of hypothyroidism. Symptoms are skin problems, always feeling cold, and fatigue, Bladderwack is an herbal remedy that works well on Hypothyroidism. Nettles and Oats are also effective. Homeopathic remedies help as well.

Urinary Incontinence

Causticum, Gelsemium, Turnera, and Plantago homicord are Homeopathic remedies that aid in continence. Herbal remedies like Black Cohosh, Dandelion Root, Mother Wort, Gingko, and Mullein help to stop incontinence. Choline is a nutritional supplement that helps cure incontinence. Vitamins B, C, and E work against incontinence as well.

Weight

Being overweight causes many health issues. Dogs may need 20% less calories as they get older. A healthy diet and twenty minutes of daily exercise are vital. Fetch, chase, and tug are great games to get your pooch running around if you don’t want to go for a walk. If the weather is nice you should walk because the fresh air, sunshine, and movement are great for both of you.

Summary

Natural remedies are safe and void of toxins and chemicals. We recommend you consult a holistic veterinarian about doses and possible side effects. Our world is ripe with noxious chemicals. Treating your pet naturally is effective and toxin-free. Natural remedies for elderly dogs is the safest way to care for your dogs, for preventing issues and treating issues like bad teeth already present.

Biography of Elise Phillips Margulis

Elise Phillips Margulis is a contributing writer for Lady Freethinker. She’s also written articles for Fido Friendly magazine. Elise is obsessed with dogs and animal welfare. She lives with her adorable & precocious 10-year-old son, her husband, their gorgeous canine, and their elegant feline. She’s also a card-carrying member of Chocoholics Anonymous.

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